I’m involved in a comment thread with another Flickr user involving the appropriateness of an image I’m displaying for all the world to see. Being a father and an artist, my perspective is somewhat jaded on the issue. As compared to an advertisement strategy of Calvin Klein’s where young children are poised in their underwear, Balthazar is bringing up the issues of fairness in the treatment of children. I find particular offense to this, though I can also see an artistic endeavor in Klein’s work. But Klein’s work is advertising and he uses sexual inuendo as a prime motivator. Put that together with young children in their underwear and you get creepy. “Creepy” is not a word I would use to describe my picture of Balthazar running carelessly in the rain…in the buff, but perhaps this is the proud father element in me. The only reason I bring this up is that the conversation got me thinking how others do (some, at least). I am concerned that people do see this image as StringBean has expressed in her concern. However, if that is the case, there’s some explaining to do in regards to the millions of other naked baby pictures out there that the world has seen. Maybe I missed the commotion, but I don’t recall one ever being made over those images. So that begs the question: is it the penis? Do you fear the penis of a two-year-old? I barely notice a two-year-old’s penis – I’m certainly not offended by one. So I’m just wondering if the rest of the world has an opinion on this. Let me know by way of your comments.
A few years back, Sally Mann got into a dispute over nude kiddie photos (Here is a link:http://www.art-forum.org/z_Mann/gallery.htm)
I have taken photos of Ella cavorting around the house without even thinking that her state of undress could offend(or God forbid)arouse others. I don’t publish them and this is why: I have worked with child molesters before and one of the really twisted things about many of them is the tendency to collect photos of children. Even fully clothed poses that no normal person would think of as being suggestive seems to fuel their fantasies. I have dealt with molesters who have collected school photos of kids in their neighborhood. It is a sick world out here. I think your photo of Balthazar is perfect for an Art gallery or friends and family but I would be concerned that having these on display on the Internet might attract some creepy admirers to say the least. I admit I am paranoid – but it’s the kind of paranoia that comes from experience.